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In Support of an Independent Scotland

Scottish Labour Party conference

On Thursday Scotland will vote on independence; and they should vote yes. According to the latest opinion polls, the Yes campaign has come from behind and pulled into a dead heat. I’ve been living in England for a year, but my support is firmly behind Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom.

There are some strong pro-independence arguments out there that are constantly being discussed and debated, but I’m interested in bringing up a new angle. Power should not be centralized. It is a centralization of power—in this case in London—that allows governments to ignore and dictate popular opinion. Centralized governments do things like go to war and bail out corporations that fund big political campaigns. They create their own momentum that ultimately serves itself rather than the citizens it theoretically represents. In sum, the larger a government is, both in terms of space and authority, the less responsive it becomes to its citizens, especially outlying opinions and regions.

I generally support any movement that seeks to take power away from a centralized point and redirect it somewhere closer to the people. Some people say that the fear is that if Scotland gets independence then other regions around Europe may want the same. That’s not a fear of mine, it’s a hope.

Power is like a pile of manure: if you pile it all in one place it stinks; but if you spread it out, it can become a fertilizer.

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One comment on “In Support of an Independent Scotland

  • I respect your proximity to the Scotland / London question, as I live in the USA. That said, from this distance it seems as though some ( perhaps a majority) of people in Scotland feel they are not properly represented or treated by the government in London. The solution of “make it more local” sounds nice, but what happens when “more local” (in this case Scotland) is not responsive in the view of a particular group? Does the “under-represented” group succeed ie a town succeed from Scotland? And following that logic can an individual household succeed? Rather, it seems in a representative democracy it is the responsibility of the individual to consider and then present their point of view, via public forum and via vote. Good ideas are usually recognized and can be implemented.

    The above is theory. In practice the US Congress is broken, so where is the good idea? It is there, many are fed up with the awful record of this congress, and we know the good idea is to replace these hacks, but watch how many people vote for change. People would rather complain than think and act. In the US the percentage of people voting is shameful. I hope in the case of Scotland people do consider and then act – I hope the question is decided by a huge turnout of voters.

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